Tag Archives: Alabama

9 children, 1 adult killed in Alabama accident involving Girls Ranch vehicle

Nine children and one adult were killed in an accident on Interstate 65 in Butler County, Alabama, on Saturday, according to Butler County Coroner Wayne Garlock.

Eight of the children killed, ranging in age from 4 to 17, were in a vehicle from the Tallapoosa County Girls Ranch, Garlock said. The youth ranch provides a home for neglected or abused school-age children, according to the Alabama Sheriffs Youth Ranches, the nonprofit that manages the Tallapoosa County girls ranch and others across the state.

A 29-year-old father and his 9-month-old daughter who were in another vehicle were also killed, Garlock said.

The accident happened on I-65 northbound at mile marker 138 on Saturday afternoon during storms that swept through the state, according to Garlock.

The driver of the small Girls Ranch bus was pulled from the burning vehicle, Garlock said, but rescue personnel were unable to reach the girls in time.

In the other vehicle, the father was pronounced dead at the scene Garlock said. The girl was taken to Regional Medical Center, where she was later pronounced dead. Garlock noted that she was properly restrained in a car seat, but said the impact was too powerful.

In a statement, Michael Smith, the CEO of the Alabama Sheriffs Youth Ranches, called the accident “a horrible tragedy and loss.”

“This morning, I have been thinking about how we do not always understand the reason things happen,” Smith said.

“However, we will continue to hold on to our God for peace and comfort as our hearts continue to break. Please continue to pray for us as we navigate this difficult time.”

The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency has asked members of the public who may have photos or videos of the accident to submit them to law enforcement.

Author: CNNWire

This post originally appeared on ABC13 RSS Feed

'Dog's black death' claims life after Cocker Spaniel contracts Alabama rot – warning alert

The dog was just six years old when she died of the deadly disease. Unfortunately, there is no cure for Alabama rot because the cause of the condition is unknown. The disease which leads to many days of suffering before fatality has been called ‘dog’s black death’.

Now the heartbroken dog owner has put out a warning to pet owners to be wary of the disease.

A heartbroken dog owner has shared a warning after her beloved Cocker Spaniel died from a deadly disease called Alabama Rot.

Dog-owner Rebecca Fox had visited beaches in North Wales on holiday and one week in noticed that her Cocker Spaniel was licking her paw continuously.

The dog, named Millie, was also limping and holding her paw up.

Then Mrs Fox and her husband decided to get some antiseptic spray to see if that would help.

However, days later the dog became “very lethargic”.

The dog’s owner told CheshireLive: “We went to Delamere Forest, we live in Leicestershire, and we went to the new Forest Holiday site on May 14 which was a Friday.

“Predominantly we walked through the forest.

READ MORE:Surge testing EXTENDED: Delta Covid search in London as cases soar

“It was a very wet week and it was awful weather, so it was very muddy everywhere.

“Lots of water, especially lots of mud around the site where we were in the forest.

“We had been there for a week, and so the next Friday we were all in the log cabin and Millie started frantically licking her front paw.

“So we thought it had got a bit infected, she was limping and holding it up as well by that point.

“It came on really suddenly.

“On Saturday, we went to a Pets at Home nearby and we got her some antiseptic spray.

“But we obviously didn’t allow her to go on a walk because we didn’t want anything getting in it.

“By Sunday night she was very lethargic and we thought because we had to other dogs and that we were on holiday as well, we thought she was a bit tired.

“She was a bit of a drama queen in general anyway, so anything that she possibly had wrong with her she was like ‘oh my god I am dying’.

“So we didn’t really think much of it and we come back home on Monday, May 24 and she was very quiet coming home.”

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: UK Feed

John M. Patterson, Segregationist Alabama Governor, Dies at 99

John Malcolm Patterson was born in Goldville on Sept. 27, 1921, one of six children (two of whom would die in childhood) of Albert and Agnes (Benson) Patterson. His parents were schoolteachers, but his father became a lawyer in Phenix City, where John graduated from Central High School in 1939. He soon joined the Army as a private, attended Officer Candidate School, became an artillery lieutenant and fought in World War II in North Africa, Sicily, mainland Italy, France and Germany. He was discharged as a major in 1945.

His marriage to Gladys Broadwater in 1942 ended in divorce in 1945. In 1947, he married Mary Joe McGowin. They had two children, Albert and Barbara, and were divorced. In 1975, he married Florentina Brachert, who is known as Tina. Complete information on his survivors was not immediately available.

Mr. Patterson earned a law degree in 1949 from the University of Alabama. He joined his father’s firm but was recalled to active duty during the Korean War and was an Army lawyer from 1951 to 1953. He then returned to law practice in Phenix City, a town notorious for brothels, gambling joints and other vices run by racketeers who controlled local politicians and catered to G.I.s from Fort Benning, Ga.

Pledging to clean up the vice, Albert Patterson won the Democratic nomination for state attorney general in 1954. He was soon shot dead by an assassin. (A deputy sheriff was convicted of the murder.) Vowing to carry out his father’s promises, John Patterson, who had shown little interest in politics, took his father’s place on the ballot, won a special election and became attorney general.

With the muscle of the National Guard, he drove the racketeers out of Phenix City in his first year in office. He also attacked widespread corruption in the administration of Gov. James E. Folsom. Planning to run for governor, Mr. Patterson catered to the electorate by winning a court order to ban the N.A.A.C.P. from operating in the state.

By the 1958 election, Mr. Patterson was Alabama’s toughest defender of segregation. Klansmen papered the state with his campaign posters, and in the primary he easily defeated Mr. Wallace, who supported segregation but not vehemently, and was viewed by many white voters as a racial moderate. After losing the election, Mr. Wallace, using a widely quoted racist slur, said that he had been outmaneuvered, and vowed to never let it happen again.

After leaving the governorship, Mr. Patterson lost races for governor in 1966 and for chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court in 1970. Later in the ’70s he taught at Troy State University (now Troy University). Governor Wallace appointed him to the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals in 1984, and he won two elections and served until 1997, when he retired to his farm in Goldville.

Author: Robert D. McFadden
This post originally appeared on NYT > U.S. News

Union Says Amazon Violated Labor Law in the Alabama Election

The union claims Amazon also retaliated against individual union supporters. According to the objections, the company disciplined one outspoken union supporter for challenging anti-union rhetoric. The filing says Amazon illegally interrogated another worker who passed out union authorization cards in nonwork areas. Then the company fired him.

In addition to the alleged threats, the union claims Amazon took actions to win the favor of employees. Once the election was underway, company agents allegedly began soliciting employee grievances and offering to fix them, relaxed certain rules, and offered pay bumps and free merch. The union questioned Amazon’s use of “the Offer,” an annual payout the company offers workers who want to quit, calling it “a threat wrapped as a benefit.” The Offer wasn’t new or specific to BHM1, but a former NLRB chairman told CNBC that the company arguably should have suspended it during the election.

Asked for comment on the objections, an Amazon spokesperson shared the company’s post-election blog post and wrote, “The fact is that less than 16 percent of employees at BHM1 voted to join a union,” a figure that includes the uncounted ballots and employees who didn’t vote. “Rather than accepting these employees’ choice, the union seems determined to continue misrepresenting the facts in order to drive its own agenda. We look forward to the next steps in the legal process.”

There are many reasons workers may have voted no. Some workers said they were satisfied with Amazon’s pay and benefits. Local government, eager to bring jobs to an area hard hit by the decline of manufacturing, heavily courted the company, offering the hefty tax incentives Amazon has made a habit of extracting. The company’s $ 15 minimum wage is more than double Alabama’s minimum, though it falls short of other unionized warehouses in the state. Some workers worried about losing these jobs if the union won.

Retaliatory firings and plant closures intended to discourage unionizing other locations are illegal, but the penalties amount to pocket change for most employers. Abandoning a new $ 325 million facility with a 20-year lease would be a bigger deterrent, though even that would not be impossible for a trillion-dollar company to absorb.

However, the RWDSU alleges that Amazon’s anti-union tactics were so egregious, the union barely stood a fighting chance. Labor law violations are common during union elections, says Rutgers labor studies professor Rebecca Givan. Penalties for breaking the law are meager, and many employers consider them a cost of doing business.

Challenges to NLRB elections fall into two categories: objections, which relate to how the election was conducted, were due in the regional NLRB office on Friday. Unfair labor practice charges, basically anything that violates labor law, must be filed within six months of an alleged offense. The RWDSU will likely submit these later. Amazon can also file its own charges, but the company did not comment on whether it plans to do so.

Next, the regional office of the NLRB will likely schedule a hearing, typically within three weeks. During the hearing, both sides can present evidence and call and cross-examine witnesses. If unfair-labor-practice charges have been filed by that point, they might get thrown into the mix or receive a separate hearing later.

The regional director could issue a decision on the objections, or combine them with unfair labor practice charges and refer them to an administrative law judge, who rules on unfair labor practices. Either side can appeal the decision to the five-member national board in Washington, DC—and that’s when national party politics come into play. Republicans have controlled the NLRB since 2017, and they set an employer-friendly agenda during that time. They currently hold a 3-1 majority, with one seat vacant. However, Republican William Emanuel’s term expires in August. President Biden may be able to seat two Democrats by the end of the year, flipping control. If the Amazon case stretches out that long, it may improve odds for any union appeal.

Caitlin Harrington

This article originally appeared on Business Latest

Amazon clinches win over union in Alabama

Workers at Amazon’s Bessemer, Ala., warehouse have voted not to unionize, a major victory for the e-commerce giant but not the end of the fight for labor organizers.

Out of the 3,215 employees who participated, 1,798 “no” votes and 738 “yes” votes were recorded. Fifty-percent plus one of the employees would have had to vote “yes” for the union to gain National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recognition.

“It’s easy to predict the union will say that Amazon won this election because we intimidated employees, but that’s not true,” Amazon said in a blog post[1]. “We’re not perfect, but we’re proud of our team and what we offer, and will keep working to get better every day.”


Although the initial vote has gone against them, the union plans to challenge the results.

“We won’t let Amazon’s lies, deception and illegal activities go unchallenged, which is why we are formally filing charges against all of the egregious and blatantly illegal actions taken by Amazon during the union vote,” Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) President Stuart Applebaum said. “Amazon knew full well that unless they did everything they possibly could, even illegal activity, their workers would have continued supporting the union.”

The vote count had been going on for over four hours when Amazon reached the threshold needed to guarantee a win, starting Thursday afternoon before wrapping up Friday morning. NLRB staff hand counted each ballot, double checking the count after every hundred votes in each direction.

Amazon and the RWDSU both had in-person representatives watching the vote, which was streamed publicly on Zoom to a small number of outsiders.

The union went public last October, just months after the Bessemer plant opened.

Workers at the facility had raised concerns about intense work quotas, insufficient wages and Amazon’s handling of employee safety during the coronavirus pandemic.


Amazon maintained since the beginning of the unionization push that it provided sufficient wages and worker protections, warning employees against voting “yes.”

Workers were critical of some of the company’s tactics, like petitioning to change traffic lights or installing a mailbox in the parking lot.

That latter tactic is likely to precipitate a challenge from the RWDSU, especially after the union obtained emails between Postal Service employees[2] showing that Amazon pressed the agency to install the box just as voting began.

John Logan, an expert on anti-union strategy at San Francisco State University, told The Hill that the mailbox placement “appears to be a form of ballot harvesting and thus a violation of federal law.”

“The NLRB twice rejected the company’s arguments for an on-site election during the pandemic, but Amazon bullied the USPS into giving it an on-site mailbox at the start of the election period,” he explained. “Essentially, the NLRB told Amazon, ‘no onsite voting,’ and the company used its leverage as the Postal Service’s biggest customer to circumvent the NLRB decision.”

The union could also challenge Amazon’s messaging efforts, which include the company holding captive audience meetings, sending text messages that one employee told The Hill reminded them of a stalker ex or launching a website that falsely told workers they would have to pay dues if the union won.

Charges of unfair labor practices could provide grounds to overturn the result, extending the battle over unionization in Bessemer.

There also remain hundreds of challenged ballots, with the RWDSU claims were primarily challenged by Amazon, although given the initial margin they would be insufficient to swing the result alone.

Despite the union’s loss, the effort in Bessemer seems likely to be a prelude to more worker activism at Amazon plants in the U.S.

The RWDSU says it has heard from hundreds of Amazon workers across the country since the Alabama plant went public.

Even if only a handful of those interested workers manage to mount a union drive, the conversation appears to have shifted.

“As we wait on the results of the Amazon union election; victory has already been won!” Jennifer Bates, a worker organizer at the plant who testified before Congress last month, tweeted as votes were being tallied. “[T]he bell has already been rung.”


The election may have also provided some fuel for unionization efforts in other industries, regardless of the result.

“The union phone is ringing off the hook,” Sara Nelson, president of Association of Flight Attendants-CWA International, told The Hill last month. “Everybody is watching this, everybody is saying ‘well, you know if they can stand up in Alabama, we can stand up where we are.’”

“It’s extremely inspirational and we’re starting to see the results of that,” she added.

The election comes as the Democratic-backed PRO Act remains in the Senate after passing the House on a nearly party-line vote.

Amazon’s success in beating back the union could bring more attention to the legislation, which is aimed at offering protections for employees trying to unionize.

“The bottom line is that workers need to be empowered to organize and call for better conditions,” said Sheheryar Kaoosji, executive director of the Warehouse Worker Resource Center, a member group of the anti-Amazon coalition Athena. “That’s what Amazon is fighting against through intimidation and retaliation.”

Updated: 12:45 p.m.


  1. ^ blog post (www.aboutamazon.com)
  2. ^ obtained emails between Postal Service employees (www.washingtonpost.com)

[email protected] (Chris Mills Rodrigo)

Amazon union vote in Alabama draws 55 percent turnout

More than half of the employees at Amazon’s Bessemer, Ala., warehouse voted in the high-stakes union election, according to the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU).

Turnout exceeded the labor group’s expectations, with more than 3,200 ballots submitted to the National Labor Relations Board. More than 5,800 workers were eligible to vote.

But the turnout does not give any clear indication of whether a majority of workers cast ballots to unionize.


The election formally ended March 29[1] and vote counting began last week via a private video call. The public portion of the vote count is expected to start as soon as Thursday afternoon, the union said.

Hundreds of challenged ballots still need to be addressed. If the vote margin is within the amount of challenged votes, the final tally will be delayed until they are resolved.

The Bessemer plant would become the first unionized Amazon facility in the U.S. if the workers ultimately vote to join the RWDSU.


  1. ^ formally ended March 29 (thehill.com)

[email protected] (Chris Mills Rodrigo)

Facebook and Instagram both offline

Facebook and Instagram are both offline[5] as we send this out. The cause of the current outage is unknown. Also today, the Commerce Department added seven[6] Chinese supercomputing groups to its “entity list”; CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield’s Community Health Plan District of Columbia (CHPDC) told customers it suffered a data breach[7] carried out by a “foreign cybercriminal” group in January; and more than half of the employees[8] at Amazon’s Bessemer, Ala., warehouse voted in the hotly anticipated union election.

BLACKLISTED: The Commerce Department on Thursday blacklisted seven Chinese supercomputing groups, adding the companies to its “entity list” as potential national security threats.

The agency in its announcement said that the groups were involved in building supercomputers for Chinese military activities, “destabilizing” modernization efforts and the nation’s weapons of mass destruction programs.

The groups added to the entity list: Tianjin Phytium Information Technology, Shanghai High-Performance Integrated Circuit Design Center, Sunway Microelectronics, the National Supercomputing Center Jinan, the National Supercomputing Center Shenzhen, the National Supercomputing Center Wuxi and the National Supercomputing Center Zhengzhou.

“Supercomputing capabilities are vital for the development of many – perhaps almost all – modern weapons and national security systems, such as nuclear weapons and hypersonic weapons,” Commerce Secretary Gina RaimondoGina RaimondoHillicon Valley: Twitter will not allow Trump account archive on platform | Commerce Dept. still weighing approach to Huawei, TikTok | Dating apps work to reinvent amid COVID-19 pandemic 3 whales on the path to extinction in US waters On The Money: Biden says compromise ‘inevitable’ on infrastructure plan | Chance for bipartisan breakthrough? | Democrats mull tax hikes MORE[10][11][12][13][14] said in a statement Thursday. “The Department of Commerce will use the full extent of its authorities to prevent China from leveraging U.S. technologies to support these destabilizing military modernization efforts.”[9][15]

Read more about the Commerce actions here.[16]


HEALTHCARE HACKING: CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield’s Community Health Plan District of Columbia (CHPDC) suffered a data breach carried out by what it described as a “foreign cybercriminal” group in January that potentially impacted sensitive data, the company told customers this week.

The insurance provider notified customers in writing through a letter obtained by The Hill and through an online announcement on Monday.

What happened: The company wrote that the breach had taken place Jan. 28, and that the company had notified both the FBI and the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia, and was working with cybersecurity group CrowdStrike in responding to the security incident.

After analysis, CHPDC assessed the attack was likely carried out by a “sophisticated, foreign cybercriminal enterprise,” and that it was too early to say how many customers had been impacted or what data was taken.

A written notification to customers went further, with the company noting that some of the stolen information may have included names, addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth, Medicaid identification numbers, and other medical information.

Read more about the incident here.[17]

THE VOTES ARE IN: More than half of the employees at Amazon’s Bessemer, Ala., warehouse voted in the high-stakes union election, according to the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU).

Turnout exceeded the labor group’s expectations, with more than 3,200 ballots submitted to the National Labor Relations Board. More than 5,800 workers were eligible to vote.

But the turnout does not give any clear indication of whether a majority of workers cast ballots to unionize.

The public portion of the vote count started Thursday afternoon.

Read more here[18]

FACEBOOK FACES NEW SUIT: A new lawsuit from civil rights group Muslim Advocates claims Facebook deceived Congress and users over its commitment to remove content that violates the platform’s policies, thus fueling anti-Muslim rhetoric.


The lawsuit filed in D.C. Superior Court on Thursday alleges that over the past three years Facebook’s top executives have violated the D.C. Consumer Protection Procedures Act by falsely testifying to Congress and promising civil rights leaders that the company removes content that violates its policies when it is flagged.

The bold allegation: The complaint alleges that despite what Facebook executives have claimed, the platform “routinely fails” to follow through on the promise.

A spokesperson for Facebook denied the allegations in the lawsuit.

“We do not allow hate speech on Facebook and regularly work with experts, non-profits, and stakeholders to help make sure Facebook is a safe place for everyone, recognizing anti-Muslim rhetoric can take different forms. We have invested in AI technologies to take down hate speech, and we proactively detect 97 percent of what we remove,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

Read more about the lawsuit[19]


TWITTER’S NEW MILK TEA ALLIANCE EMOJI: Twitter has launched a new emoji in honor of the online pro-democracy movement Milk Tea Alliance that has gained popularity among protesters in places like Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand and Myanmar.


The Twitter Public Policy account announced the emoji late Wednesday in a thread to “celebrate the first anniversary of the #MilkTeaAlliance.” [20]

Tweets that include the hashtag will now also feature an image of a white cup set against a background that features “3 different types of milk tea colours from regions where the Alliance first formed online,” the platform wrote.

Read more here[21]

Lighter click: Just picking up some groceries[22]

An op-ed to chew on: Biden offers American science a fresh way to prove its value to society[23]



Google Has a Secret Blocklist that Hides YouTube Hate Videos from Advertisers—But It’s Full of Holes (The Markup / Leon Yin and Aaron Sankin)[24]

Politicians dread the sting of #KHive, the fervent online fans of Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisFive reasons why US faces chronic crisis at border The Hill’s 12:30 Report – Presented by ExxonMobil – Pence sets the stage for 2024 Abandoned young immigrant seen on video asking Border Patrol for help MORE[27][28][29][30][31][26] (Los Angeles Times / Noah Bierman)[25]

The quiet war to be China’s next WeChat (Protocol / Shen Lu) [32]

[email protected] (Rebecca Klar,Maggie Miller and Chris Mills Rodrigo)

Travis Barker’s Daughter Alabama, 15, Gives Kourtney Kardashian’s Son Reign, 6, A Piggy Back Ride

Travis Barker and Kourtney Kardashian’s families are sweetly blending, as his daughter gave her son a piggyback ride after a day of skiing.

Travis Barker[1] and girlfriend Kourtney Kardashian[2]‘s kids have known each other for years, growing up on the same street in Calabasas. Now that the pair have embarked on a romantic relationship[3], their children are getting even closer[4]. That much was evident when Travis’ 15-year-old daughter Alabama (by ex-wife Shana Moakler) shared a series of Instagram photos from a ski getaway on Apr. 2, and in one snapshot she was carrying Kourtney’s son Reign[5], 6, (by ex Scott Disick) piggyback style on the slopes.

In the cute end of the day shot as the sun was setting, Alabama could be seen with her waist-length blonde tresses blowing in the wind. She had on a chic purple and pink tie-dye pattern snowsuit with white lace-up Doc Marten style boots. Reign looked adorable in a bright red and orange camouflage snowsuit, with a black knit beanie and tan lace-up Timberland style boots.

It appears the two had finished up their day of skiing, and were ending it by doing some sledding[6] via a blue snow tube that was seen nearby in the powder. Reign made a funny face for the camera, scrunching up his lips. In previous photos in the set that Alabama shared, she donned a red Prada ski suit and grey helmet for her turns on the slopes. Even her dad Travis, 45, showed off his skills on a snowboard[7], as the Blink 182 drummer posted an IG video of him mastering his turns like a pro during the blended family ski trip.

Kourtney, 41, shared Alabama’s photo of her holding Reign on her back to her Instagram stories. It was followed up by a shot of the pool that appeared to be inside of their ski resort, then she shared a video of Reign being goofy on the private plane[8] trip home. He was telling everyone to turn off their electronics, as Travis could seemingly be heard playing a video game in the seat in front of him.


♬ original sound – Alabama[11]

Before ending their ski getaway, Alabama documented an evening around a fire pit toasting marshmallows and playing a game of “I’m passing the phone” with her dad, brother Landon Barker, 17, Kourtney, her daughter Penelope, 8, and Reign to her TikTok. When Kourt first got her chance, she said “I’m passing the phone to my boyfriend” and gave it to Travis for his turn. Boyfriend!!! It’s so cute to hear her call Travis that, even though it has been obvious ever since they officially came out as a couple on Valentine’s Day[12] and have been together nonstop with plenty of PDA[13] ever since.

Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker
Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker have been together nonstop ever since coming out as couple on Feb. 14, 2021. Photo credit: MEGA.

Reign could be seen in the same bright camo snowsuit as he was wearing earlier with Alabama. When Kourt’s turn came around again, she sweetly said “I’m passing the phone to somebody who talks 24-7” and showed Reign. He’s already picked up on some naughty words, at first stammering about what he should say in the game then exclaiming “Oh f**k!”and “Oh sh*t!” at it being his turn. Then Reign and just squealed and started twerking instead[14], before his mom laughed and told him “okay, we’re done.” What a fun blended family vacation!


  1. ^ Travis Barker (hollywoodlife.com)
  2. ^ Kourtney Kardashian (hollywoodlife.com)
  3. ^ on a romantic relationship (hollywoodlife.com)
  4. ^ getting even closer (hollywoodlife.com)
  5. ^ Reign (hollywoodlife.com)
  6. ^ some sledding (hollywoodlife.com)
  7. ^ on a snowboard (hollywoodlife.com)
  8. ^ private plane (hollywoodlife.com)
  9. ^ @alabamabarker (www.tiktok.com)
  10. ^ fyp (www.tiktok.com)
  11. ^ ♬ original sound – Alabama (www.tiktok.com)
  12. ^ a couple on Valentine’s Day (hollywoodlife.com)
  13. ^ with plenty of PDA (hollywoodlife.com)
  14. ^ started twerking instead (hollywoodlife.com)


Amazon union vote count starts this week for Alabama warehouse

Ballots will start being counted this week in the unionization vote at Amazon’s warehouse in Bessemer, Ala., marking a critical step in one of the most significant union elections of the last decade.

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) will start tabulating the ballots cast by more than 5,800 workers from the warehouse on Tuesday, the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) said. RWDSU is looking to represent the Amazon workers.

The final vote tally may take a week or more to be tabulated, and any party is allowed to file objections within five days of the vote count. Potential challenges are subject to an NLRB hearing and may delay the issuance of a final tally of ballots.

Amazon has largely fended off unionization challenges in the U.S., but the battle in Bessemer could lead to the first Amazon union in the U.S.

The challenge at the Bessemer facility, which opened last March, has garnered a spotlight in Washington[1] since ballots went out in early February.

President BidenJoe BidenThe Hill’s Morning Report – Biden to talk infrastructure amid border, voting controversies Juan Williams: The GOP’s big lie on voting rights Schumer kicks into reelection mode MORE[3][4][5][6][7][2] released a video supporting the worker push, although he did not explicitly mention Amazon. Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersDemocrats gear up for major push to lower drug prices On The Money: Sanders creates new headache for Biden on taxes | IRS: Costs of PPE can be deducted from taxes | Democrats ask watchdog to tackle racial bias in home appraisals Sanders, Warren and AOC can lift Dems in 2022 midterms MORE[9][10][11][12][13][8] (I-Vt.) invited Amazon CEO Jeff BezosJeffrey (Jeff) Preston BezosAmazon tangles with Warren on Twitter Sanders says he isn’t ‘comfortable’ with Twitter’s Trump ban Alec MacGillis: Amazon worsens economic divide creating ‘warehouse towns’ MORE[15][16][17][18][19][14] to a hearing earlier this month on wealth inequality and slammed the billionaire executive after he declined to attend.

“As the wealthiest person on earth, I’d love to hear his reasoning as to why he is vigorously opposing a union organizing effort at Amazon which would improve wages and benefits for struggling workers,” Sanders said at the time.

Republican Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioBiden under pressure to spell out Cuba policy Biden’s plan for reelection freezes Democratic field Rubio on Pentagon’s UFO report: ‘There’s stuff flying over military installations’ MORE[21][22][23][24][25][20] (Fla.) also offered support to the Amazon workers last month. Rubio, however, appeared to tie his support to his dislike of Amazon’s decisions on social issues rather than its treatment of workers.

After the Bessemer warehouse, known as BHM1, opened last year, it quickly drew criticism[26] from workers who described exhausting work quotas, insufficient wages and a failure to protect them from the coronavirus pandemic.

The criticisms were not unique to the Alabama location. Similar concerns were raised at Amazon facilities across the country, prompting some protests and walkouts throughout 2020.

Amid the unionization push by RWDSU, whose president is Stuart Appelbaum, Amazon has publicly defended its working conditions. Much of the company’s messaging has centered on the $ 15 wage it has offered workers since 2018, which is above the federal minimum wage.

“RWDSU membership has been declining for the last two decades, but that is not justification for its president Stuart Appelbaum to misrepresent the facts. Our employees know the truth — starting wages of $ 15 or more, health care from day one, and a safe and inclusive workplace. We encouraged all of our employees to vote and hope they did so,” Amazon spokesman Drew Herdener said in a statement.

Updated at 11:53 a.m.

[email protected] (Rebecca Klar)